Arik passengers stranded at Kaduna airport

Arik Airline passengers, including children have been stranded at Kaduna International Airport since Tuesday, following failure to airlift them as scheduled.

The disappointed passengers, who could not hide their anger, when the Minister of State, Aviation, made on-the-spot assessment of the facilities at the airport, lamented that the airline is yet to offer any explanation or apology to them.

Expressing disappointment at the non-challant attitude of the airline operators to their plight, the passengers said they were not notified until after complaints were made to the Minister.

The airline was said to have been cancelling flights without considering the distances or the implication of such on their businesses.However, Mr. Ola Adebanji, Arik Air Communications Manager, in a telephone chat with The Guardian, attributed the four-day cancellation to fuel scarcity and bad weather.

In another development, the Minister of State Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has assured that Kaduna International Airport would be ready for full operations before the March 8 date for the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The Minister, who stated this during an on-the- spot assessment visit to the airport, yesterday, said the Hajj terminal building and the VIP lounge were ready for the screening of passengers.

He assured that the ongoing rehabilitation of the terminal building, which started during the tenure of former Minister of Aviation Stella Odua, would be completed before the due date.

While inspecting the runway, he assured that the 300metre runway was in good shape for landing of both international and domestic flights, adding that the airport was being used for hajj operations. He said nothing is stopping any international airline from landing at the airport.

Faulting media report that international Airlines rejected diversion of flight operations to Kaduna, he said it was not rejection, but expression of concerns.

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